Re: “Maine Voices: Trail networks, while popular, aren’t for everybody” (Dec. 12):

I am on the younger side of elder, older, retired (almost) and trails in Maine are a very important part of my staying put rather than retiring south or southwest. Although trails are not for everyone over 70, they are very important to many of us — whether hiking Blue Hill Peninsula, visiting state parks, Katahdin Woods and Waters or closer to home, all those adventures are part of my life and part of my retirement plan.

Having trail networks closer to home (for me that’s Bowdoinham) means I don’t have to wait for weekends, special events or traveling partners. I can take a walk with my trusty little dog, Sophie, or meet up with friends before heading to the farmers market. I might walk to the Richmond seniors events.

A strong and vibrant older Maine community will indeed use, enjoy and benefit from trails networks – don’t forget we are also bikers, snowshoers and cross-country skiers. We might stop for lunch in a different town, maybe stay overnight. We will cost less in health care, contribute to our economy and generally be walking advertisements for Maine, the Way Life Should Be — at any age.

Don’t assume trails networks are not for older Mainers — my mother hiked Blue Hill Mountain at age 80-plus and the waterfront trails in Brewer and Bucksport were frequent destinations for an afternoon outing way into her 90s. If she had been near a good trail network, who knows where we might have had a picnic or taken a selfie.

Joanne Joy


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